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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

ALEXANDER,  VON  HTJMBOUDT.                153
and his observations, in order to classify them as strictly
as he respects the scientific acqxiirements of others,
and use them only as an acknowledged loan when
this mutual exchange promises any advantage to the
interests of science objectively. His reader will per-
ceive in every page of his works that when Hximboldt
writes, such a mass of scientific material crowds upon
his happy memory, that in thinking, he compares,
quotes, corrects, confirms, or contradicts. The entire
field of science lies open before his mind when he
perhaps only intends to communicate one single fact
of his experience. Hence it conies that his writings,,
especially those that are pxirely scientific and de-
scriptive, have, besides the original by himself, a
rich appendix of notes, qxiotations, comparisons, and
references, in all sciences and from all ages, which
sometimes surpass the purely descriptive text in force,
and adorn it like pearls on the string which connects
them. These notes especially force us to admire the
unexampled universality and profundity of his erudi-
tion and his power of memory.
Hunaboldt displayed much tact in the composition
of his great works.    He wrote them originally in the
French language, the universally-understood medium
of the civilized world, and thus made it possible that
they should be available to  all nations.    Thus the
great effect of his writings on the majority of intelli-
gent readers was at  once  an universal one,  equally
effectital    at   the   same   time   with   all   nations   in
producing a speedy development of the universally-
awakening sense for natural science and comparative
studies, and by arousing and increasing an interest
for Humboldt's system of scientific observation.    His
writings have  also been   frequently translated  into
other languagesóby Wimmer into German, by "Wil-
liams and  Macgillivray into English.    Some "works
wore translated into German under Humboldt's super-
intendence, as,  for example,  his Asiatic voyage  by
Mahlmann, and some were popularised and published
by extracts.    During the last few years he has com-